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Vergara teacher tenure case: point counterpoint

LA School Report | April 8, 2014



EdWeekEdweek has done a nice job providing opposing perspectives on the potential outcome of the Vergara v. California case, a lawsuit challenging the state’s teacher tenure and job protection laws.

Below are the two articles, the first of which claims that the case is a lose-lose for the plaintiffs and defendants, while the second lauds it as a revolution in education equality.

 

Why Vergara Is a Loser for Both Sides
Via Education Week | David Menefee-Libey and Charles Taylor Kerchner

The two contending sides wrapped up their cases last week in Vergara vs California, the education lawsuit being tried in Judge Rolf Treu’s Los Angeles Superior Courtroom. Treu has ninety days to make his ruling.

But from our perspective this is a case that the plaintiffs can’t win and the defendants will lose regardless of the outcome.

Vergara went to trial in January, with Beatriz Vergara and eight other school children suing to overturn the state’s teacher tenure and job protection laws.  Represented in court by former U.S. Solicitor General Theodore Olson and a team of star attorneys not accustomed to losing cases, the plaintiffs argue that those laws play out in classrooms and schools in ways that violate students’ rights to access equal education under the California constitution.
Read the full story, here.


Former LAUSD Leaders: Vergara Case a Turning Point in Education Equality
Via Education Week | Marlene Canter and Roy Romer

In all our years and roles in education, we’ve experienced firsthand almost every challenge facing our public school students. We’ve also seen many educational reforms that purport to solve those challenges come and go with varying levels of success.  Roy led the first ever National Goals Panel on education in the 80s, and focused on education as chair of the National Governors Association before becoming Superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD).  And Marlene, who was a special education teacher in LAUSD, co-founded a firm that became a very successful provider of teacher training materials, led the LAUSD Board through major transition just a few years ago, and is now the Board Chair for Green Dot Public Schools.

There is no “silver bullet” for education–one idea that will instantly fix everything–but we’ve become involved in something recently that perhaps comes the closest to a silver bullet as we’ve seen in our long careers.  A lawsuit currently pending the court’s decision has the potential to dramatically improve educational outcomes for every single student in California, especially our neediest students, and potentially in other states.

Read the full story, here.

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